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Goodbye Climb, a unique brokerage lost to a cookie-cutter industry

  • January 10, 2020 | Inman

I was disheartened to read about Realogy’s decision to fold San Francisco-based Climb into their Coldwell Banker brand. If you look back at the initial announcement of NRT’s acquisition, it was full of popping champagne corks and excitement for the future.

Other high-profile mergers like Partners Trust and Pacific Union were an indication of the failure of major players like Compass to earn significant market share through competition, choosing instead to acquire already-successful indies to gain a foothold in competitive markets.

The Climb merger, however, was supposed to be a different story. Climb thought they were going to be doing bigger, better things through this merger, rolling out their brand for a much larger, national platform.

Now, with news that their colorful, vibrant offices will be shut down and their agents absorbed into existing Coldwell Banker offices in the San Francisco Bay Area, we are losing one of the truly great independent brokerages.

“It’s such a shame to lose an industry leader like Climb. I’ve always admired the indie energy and vibe Climb put out,” says Linnette Edwards, associate broker and co-founder of Abio Properties in Oakland, CA.

“I really respect how Climb’s founders kept that spirit going even after the sale to NRT. I feel like I lost a kindred spirit in the independent brokerage community. The real estate world really needs more, not fewer, creative brands like Climb.”

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